Archives for June 2013

How to Attract Wild Animals with your Copy

This article from Unbounce.com offers some great tips for copy writing, specifically applicable to our product and POS pages. It will be most useful for my fellow interns, all of you who have been here for a while can correct me where I am wrong and add any additional thoughts.

I really like the analogy and the end of the article that describes customers as “wild animals foraging for food.” In this case their “food” is information and their “foraging grounds” are on the web. It is important to concisely communicate the benefits of our various products to customers, while acknowledging that each customer base has different needs. This article provides a quick checklist for writing compelling copy; I summarized the most important points below and how I connected each to the Voice of Logos.

stinky copy

  1. Know your reader. Your target audience should heavily impact your voice depending on your target denomination, and purpose for using our product (preaching, scholarly study, self-help/study, etc.).
  2. Use appropriate language. Recognize the ideal time to address your reader directly, such as in sales pitches: Logos saves you time…. You save this much money when you buy now (these are the sweet desserts that lock down the sale) and when the reader expects dense, focused information (the main course of your copy).
  3. Don’t talk about yourself. Customers want to hear what we can do for them. Instead bragging about “lightning fast search results” talk about how quick and comprehensive searches save users time in their studies.
  4.  Be Concise. Enough said.
  5. Write each page like a book. We run thousands of promotions throughout the year. At any point a promotion could link to the page you are designing/writing and all kinds of Logos users (veterans, regulars, and newbs) will be seeing your page. Ask yourself, will they know where to go from here? We all know what to do after reading the first page of a book, you turn the page!
  6. Separate sales pitches from product information. When reading about a product the customer doesn’t want to be bombarded by requests to purchase. Give them the product information they are looking for upfront, and wrap up with compelling reasons to buy now.
  7. Avoid sentence bloat. No reason to fluff up the facts, just give them the facts.
  8. Web copy is not a science. What works for one customer base will not necessarily work for another.
  9. We are the best…. According to who? We all know we provide the best customer experience from purchase to everyday use, but no one likes to hear people brag. Use endorsements and examples to show how others appreciate our products.
  10.   Have a clear CTA. Your reader should never be wondering “what to do next” after reading your copy.

Lets feed those hungry animals!

 

100 Conversion Optimization Case Studies

 

Click to read 100 cases of optimization increasing conversion.100 cases

 

5 Ways to Grow Your Network

This post is specifically written with our new interns in mind. However, I hope it offers something of value to each of you.

Recently Bob gave a talk and specifically encouraged all interns to reach out to those in the company with influence. Request a lunch, coffee, or even group meeting. I hope you all take the list of emails sent out and score as many lunches and coffee meetings as possible.

With that aside, there are other things you can do to connect with those who work here, and those who work with Logos. Grab your coffee and take a deep breathe, I went a little lengthy on this one.

5 Ways to Grow Your Network

  1. Get on the internet. No seriously. Sign up for Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest, Stumble Upon, Reddit, YouTube, Riffle, SlideShare, Foursquare, Instagram, Vine, GetGlue, LinkedIn, Vimeo, WordPress, Pheed, About.Me, etc. Learn how the internet works by doing it. Connect with your closest family, friends, and acquaintances first. Then expand from there. Observe, participate, then create. This will help you become a better marketer and grow your network. Even if most of those accounts are a fake identity because you’re afraid of being on the internet, at least you’ll get a good taste. #Internet
  2. Follow ALL your supervisors—everywhere. Phil Gons doesn’t mind chalking up another follower. Are you connected to him on LinkedIn yet?(Don’t answer if that’s a no) Have you subscribed to PhilGons.com? Have you followed him on Twitter? Seriously, it’s nothing weird. It’s not even personalunless you decide to make it. It’s all business. Phil will likely school you in history, design, business, management, and social media while eating sardines and a side of almonds. Why not follow his lead and learn from him casually. When he interacts with individuals such as Tony Reinke and Andy Naselli, you now know who Phil sees as influencers–follow them. #NetworkExpanding
  3. Follow Bob and Daneverywhere. Ok, I don’t mean find their address and follow them home. (Although, rumor has it Dan will order you lunch in exchange for Flyer fan gear that is mailed to his house) I mean connect with them on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc. Bob has a killer SlideShare and what he said about his reading interests is true. He shares some of the awesomest stuff everyday. See who they chat with(which isn’t often, but happens) and follow those people. Comment on their content. I mean after all, “you’re just the young intern”. Take that card and run with it! #NetworkExpandingMore #BuildingKlout
  4. Collaborate and brainstorm with coworkers. Now I’m not talking about moonlighting. I’m talking about helping each other get better. Share the blog article you just found. Show your cubicle neighbor that article about how to specialize in using hashtags. Explain over lunch how you discovered Google Authorship can boost visibility for blogs and increase CTR via organic searches. By doing so you are giving first, building others up, and establishing yourself as a resource. #Value #LearnAndRelearn
  5. Put it to the test. Have a blog?(If no, go back to #1) Want to know how to build an email list, get followers on Twitter, run a giveaway, or land an interview with your favorite author? Do it! Just do it on your blog. Sign up for MailChimp. Setup a YouTube channel. Change themes for the learning benefit. Oh, and buy your name.com.<–This will only get more expensive and difficult the longer you wait. By doing these things your marketing colleagues, new found connections, and other internet surfers will want to connect. #GrownUpStage #boom

There’s a lot of other ways to connect with people. I’m very fond of grabbing coffee. Sometimes that’s not possible. I couldn’t do that with Steven Kryger today because he lives in Syndey, Australia. We had a Google Hangout instead. So use the internet(the world’s playground) for leverage. It won’t replace the need for face to face interaction, but can in handy a lot.

Some of you may have no desire to become internet famousthat’s ok. That’s not what this is about. It’s about you discovering what’s available. Who’s available. How to help them and how they can help you. This is about your education, you career, and your community.

I hope this was helpful. If I can be of any help, please let me know. I’ve got stories I’m willing to share, and hope to learn something from you. Oh, and following me is a really good start too. Nathan Smoyer

**Bonus**

Did you know Outlook can be a great place to find your coworkers on Facebook and LinkedIn? You can easily spy who they’re chatting and connecting with too. Follow these steps:

  1. Open Outlook
  2. Click File
  3. Click “Account Settings”
  4. Click “Social Network Accounts”
  5. Done.

email connections

Each time you open an email from here on out, you can see the social activity of your coworkers within your email. Here, you can see I’m about lurk each of those LinkedIn accounts Jayson has recently connected too. If need be, I now know to ask Jayson to conduct an introduction.

Extra cool is this feature works on people from outside the company. When I chat with people from publishers, ministries, or Facebook pages, I want them to remember me. So I connect where I can. Top of mind, tip of tongue(clearly a Contagious reference, have you read that yet?). See how this works below.

email in linkedin

P. S. I purposefully did not post direct links to many of the people I said to follow or places to go. I hope you’ll learn to navigate the deep seas of the internet.

 

5 Myths About Incentives

Some believe that only coupon hunters want free stuff. Those who want free stuff never buy. And those who are freebie hunters don’t stick around for the long term. But are these statements true?

Click on the link below to download and read a(very,very short) pdf about incentives.

http://engagement.punchtab.com/e/19242/mythbusting-incentive-programs/3cb3p/83116488

*Bonus*
Punchtab emailed this out. I downloaded it quickly to learn more. But something is wrong. What am I supposed to do when I’m done reading this whitepaper/infographic? What is the next step?

Let me know what you think in the comments How you think Punchtab could have been more effective. (or on Twitter @NateSmoyer)

How much is marketing time worth?

I ran some fresh calculations this morning, and our time is currently worth an average of $33/hr. per person. That includes salary, taxes, benefits, and overhead. Please use this number in your cost analysis and ROI calculations until further notice.

 

Also, let’s factor this number in with reference to the meetings we have. Here are ten suggestions how:

  1. Make sure the meeting is necessary and that the issue can’t be solved more efficiently (through an email, IM, phone call, or quick visit).
  2. Let people know in advance what the meeting is about so they can be prepared and make an informed decision about whether to attend.
  3. Keep the meeting length as short as possible.
  4. Be well prepared, especially if you’re leading the meeting.
  5. Start on time. Take charge, set the agenda, get down to business, and keep things on track and moving quickly.
  6. Invite only the people that need to be there (but don’t invite too few so that the meeting is wasted time).
  7. Give people the opportunity and freedom to be excused if they don’t need to be there. Asked to be excused if you don’t need to be there. Feel free to accept meetings as tentative or decline them.
  8. End meetings on time. If you’ve covered everything you need to cover, end the meeting early.
  9. For recurring meetings, make sure you’re not having them too frequently.
  10. Regularly audit your calendar to make sure you’re not suffering from meeting creep.

Thanks!

 

Phil

10 Ways to Optimize Meetings

Meetings can be great tools for collaboration, but they can also be expensive (currently $33/hr. per person) and a huge time suck. Here are ten ways you can optimize your meetings:
  1. Make sure the meeting is necessary and that the issue can’t be solved more efficiently (through an email, IM, phone call, or quick visit).
  2. Let people know in advance what the meeting is about so they can be prepared and make an informed decision about whether to attend.
  3. Keep the meeting length as short as possible.
  4. Be well prepared, especially if you’re leading the meeting.
  5. Start on time. Take charge, set the agenda, get down to business, and keep things on track and moving quickly.
  6. Invite only the people that need to be there (but don’t invite too few so that the meeting is wasted time).
  7. Give people the opportunity and freedom to be excused if they don’t need to be there. Asked to be excused if you don’t need to be there. Feel free to accept meetings as tentative or decline them.
  8. End meetings on time. If you’ve covered everything you need to cover, end the meeting early.
  9. For recurring meetings, make sure you’re not having them too frequently.
  10. Regularly audit your calendar to make sure you’re not suffering from meeting creep.

What suggestions do you have for making the most of meetings?

Working with MarCom for writing/editing/proofing

Hi Marketing Team,

As you know some teams use Asana and others use Fogbugz for managing tasks. We have decided that MarCom will be using Fogbugz to manage copy requests. This represents a chance to how many of you have been working. From now on, use Fogbugz (not email or Asana) to make MarCom requests. NOTE: this does not affect requests for social posts.

Here’s what you do:

  1. Log-into Fogbugz
  2. Create a “New Case” & give it a title
  3. Set “Marketing Communications” as the project
  4. In the Area field, choose from 2 options: “write new copy” or “review existing copy ”
  5. Select “Marketing Deliverable” as the category
  6. Select a subcategory in the “Marketing Deliverable” field (eg. Blog, email, footer ad, etc.)
  7. Include project details in the “description” field
  8. Attach any relevant files
  9. Assign a due date & time
  10. If your request is related to a project, add a link to the project’s Wiki page in the “spec” field

Once you’ve created a case, Jayson will review it and assign it to a writer. MarCom has developed a workflow for how copy will move through their team. When they send copy to you, they’ll upload it into Fogbugz, assign the case to you and provide directions on what the next step is (i.e. “please let me know if you have any feedback”, “this is ready to go to design” or “this is ready for approval”)

Why is MarCom moving to Fogbugz?

A few reasons.

  • Fogbugz has due-dates & TIME (especially important for David Davidson).
  • Fogbugz makes it easy to keep track of who has made what edits and confirm if copy has been proofed and editorially reviewed.

Because Fogbugz was created for developers, there are differences to the terms that are used to describe things:

  • The “Project” field is equivalent to our teams (MarCom, MarTech, etc.)
  • The status “Ready for QC” is equivalent to “Ready for Final Proof”
  • The “spec” field is the equivalent to “Project’s Wiki page”

How to Keep Your Cases from Getting Lost

Fogbugz gives you some good visibility on the status of a task you’ve sent to MarCom. If you subscribe to the case, it will also give you an update every step of the way. Fogbugz users in the past have complained about cases getting lost. Here’s how to keep that from happening:

  • The “owner” is responsible for the next step. So, if you are the project manager for a case it will be assigned to you when feedback/input is needed or when it’s “ready for approval”. This takes it out of the MarCom team member’s queue. When you’re ready for them to take the next step you need to move the status to “active” and assign it back to the MarCom team member. (You can see what cases you own by looking at the “My Cases” filter.)
  • Keep dialog about an item in the case. This means commenting in the case or replying to an email from Fogbugz (keeping the Fogbugz email and subject line the same).
  • Ownership on a case should not move between teams but it should, and will, move back and forth between the person who is the project manager, the person doing the work, their team lead and the person proofing (QC’ing) the work. If you have something that requires action from multiple teams (i.e. both MarCom and MarTech) create separate cases for each team.
  • Update your settings to auto subscribe to cases that you create so you’ll get emailed anytime someone does something on a case that you own.
    To do this, select ‘My Settings’ then “subscribe”. Select “Add New subscription” and select the “– ANY ITEM I CREATE –“ Need a visual? Check this out and this also. (Depending on the volume of cases you create you may want to create a filter in Outlook.)

 

If you’ve not used Fogbugz before, here is a rundown of what you need to know.

Accessing Fogbugz

You should already have an account, but if not email Marketing Requests, and Vanessa will get you one.

URL: Fogbugz.logos.com

Username: the username you use to log into your machine (for me it’s krista.veteto)

Password: the password you use to log into your machine

For Power-Users

I suggest saving a filter that shows you all the open (i.e. not completed) cases that you are subscribed to by due date. This link is a filter I created to do this. If you’re logged into Fogbugz and click on this link, you should see a button on the top right that says “Save”. By clicking this button you can save this filter and it will show up in the Filters dropdown menu. Need a visual? Check this out

Sample Case

MarCom put together a sample Fogbugz case that shows how copy will move through their workflow. You can check it out here: https://fogbugz.logos.com/default.asp?74303#edit_0_74303

For the sake of this case:

  • I was the project owner
  • Tayler was the writer
  • David was the proof reader
  • Jayson was (is!) the team lead

I’d love to know if this is useful for you as you get up-to-speed on using Fogbugz for MarCom requests.

7 Marketing strategies that work better than advertising

Advertising-on-your-blog7 Marketing Strategies That Work Better Than Advertising

This is a great article and I think we as a company do a lot of these things.

How a can we “exploit” what we do well to drive more engagement?

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